J.R. Harris got his job back at the Charlottesville Fire Department, but still unresolved is the matter of the big bucks he paid to attorney Janice Redinger to help him get reinstated.
Photo: Martyn Kyle

Spycam case: Fired fire department mechanic reinstated

A three-person city panel ruled that J.R. Harris, the Charlottesville Fire Department mechanic who was fired in October because his bosses said his work was a safety hazard and because a liquid alleged to be alcohol was found in his desk, should be reinstated. The one-sentence February 26 decision to Harris said, “After considering oral […]

Photo: Cramer photo

Poor health: Meet the Virginians who might destroy Obamacare

Believe it or not, there is some actual good news concerning the Affordable Care Act (aka Obama-care) in Virginia. With the most recent enrollment period now ended, it turns out that the number of residents signing up for health insurance on the federal exchange has far exceeded expectations, with around 385,000 Virginians taking advantage of […]

Peter Castiglione, co-owner of Maya, says the city is unfairly burdening eateries in its efforts to balance the budget. Photo: Martyn Kyle

Fork it over: Parsing the arguments in the meals tax debate

As Charlottesville grapples with its proposed 2016 budget, one line item has garnered much of the attention: A proposal to increase the city’s meals tax from 4 to 5 percent. The penny-on-the-dollar hike is actually a 25 percent increase in the rate, and would generate an estimated $2.1 million in new revenue for the city’s […]

When J.R. Harris discovered a hidden camera in his office, initially it didn’t occur to him that the city had put it there. Photo: 
Martyn Kyle

Fire department firing: Spycam used to justify termination

Longtime Charlottesville Fire Department mechanic J.R. Harris was well known to be a teetotaler, and even his bosses said they didn’t think the alleged bottle of booze one of them found in his desk was his. Nonetheless, when Harris got an October 7, 2014, termination letter, one of the reasons cited for his dismissal was […]